Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Apr. 8

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in sports – 

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Toronto Raptors, all curlers from Manitoba, and all Canadian athletes competing on the international stage. 

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps.  You’ve been warned.

1.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets had a decent week acquiring 5 out of 8 points on the road but they fell short of winning the Central Division by ONE point.  The Jets did manage to secure second place and home-ice for their first-round series versus St. Louis.  They finished the season with a record of 47-30-5.  

2.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a pretty good week on home ice with three wins and a loss AND are hanging on the final playoff position (tied with Iowa).  The Moose will play their final three games on the road and control their own destiny. It should be an interesting week.  Their current record is 37-29-5-2.  

3.  Jets:  The Manitoba Moose could really use Sami Niku.  Hell, the Winnipeg Jets could really use Sami Niku.  Ding, ding, Pomo.

4.  Jets Retrospective analysis is a beautiful thing.  The Jets missed winning the Central Division by ONE point.  You can point out a handful of games in recent memory where they frittered away a point or two but which game was the one that did it for you.  For me, the worst one was the San Jose game where Pavelski scored with five seconds left.   

5.  Jets:  I hope Paul Maurice remembered where the “switch” was. 

6.  Jets:  This is now the coaches time of the year.  Draft and development are on the back burner and winning is the only thing that matters.  If you want ice-time you better lay it on the line.  This is big boy time. 

7.  NHLBob Cole’s long and distinguished 50-year career came to an end Saturday night and was met with an outpouring of love from across the country.  This might be sacrilege but I was never a fan of Bob Cole.  I liked him during international events but the sound of his voice automatically took me to Toronto or Montreal.  I hated both of those teams and he was their Saturday night voice and I hated listening to it.  I was more of a Don Wittman guy.  He was the voice of the west for me. 

8.  Jets:  Lots of talks this season about the Jets being the youngest team or close to it in the NHL but it is only going to get younger next season when Niku, Poolman, and Appleton become regulars.  More growing pains in the future?     

9.  Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck was pretty good this season but not “Vezina” nominee good like last season.  Was this him or the team’s play in front of him.

10.  Jets:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers needs to shoot the puck more.  I don’t understand why players with good shots don’t shoot more?  Nik needs to be a little more selfish and start firing the puck.  After last years lackluster playoff performance the Jets need him to step up.

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11. PGA:  Its time for “The Masters”, one of my favourite golf tournaments on the PGA calendar.  I wonder if CBS will have a dedicated feed just for Tiger?  I’m kind of pulling for him which is something I wouldn’t have said ten years ago but I hope CBS doesn’t forget the rest of the world-class field.   

12:  Curling:  Kevin Koe gave it a pretty good run but lost the World Championship Final to Sweden’s Niklas Edin.  The highlight for me was their semi-final game versus Switzerland.  The high level of play by both teams in this game was jaw-dropping.  Best game of the week by far.

13:  PGA:  Canadian tour player Corey Conners did the unthinkable this week.  His doesn’t have full tour status so he has to go through Monday qualifying to get into certain PGA events.  This week he had to survive a six-man playoff on Monday to get into the main field at the Valero Texas Open.  He went on to win on Sunday with a six-under, sixty-six to win by one stroke.  He started his final round one shot behind the leader and open with four birdies in his first five holes but then proceeded to give them all back by bogeying the next four holes.  Instead of folding like a cheap suit Conners birdied six of the next eight holes and stood on the eighteenth tee with a three-shot lead.  He went on to par the final hole and won by two strokes.  He now has FULL tour status for the next two seasons and he gets into all the majors including next week’s Masters at Augusta.  This was a life-changing, gutsy performance for the twenty-seven-year-old Canadian.  What a great week.           

14:  Jets Schedule: 


15:  Jays:  Poor Charlie Montoyo is going to age about ten years in the next six months.   

16:  Jets:  I know +/- is becoming a dinosaur stat and I’m not a big fan of it either but doesn’t Patrik Laine’s -24 meet the eye test?  Sometimes if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck its a duck.        

17:  Jays:  I wish Teoscar Hernandez would stop showering sunflower seeds on every player that hits a home run.  Not only is it stupid, but it’s also wasteful.  It kills me seeing all those sunflower seeds go to waste.        

18:  Jets:  It’s not official but it looks like Josh Morrissey should be available for game one versus St. Louis.  If so, who draws the short straw?

UPDATE:  Josh Morrissey is confirmed ready and Brandon Tanev is listed as day to day.

When Josh Morrissey is ready to return, who sits out?

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19:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  34-23-3 … 2.90 GAA … .913 SV% with 2 shutouts.            
  • Laurent Brossoit:  13-6-2 … 2.52 GAA … .925 SV%

20:  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum) 

  • PP:  4th at 24.80% down from 25.50% last week.    
  • PK: 23rd at 79.10% up from 79.00 last week.

If you have any questions for Darryl or myself (Mitch) please give us a shout.  You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.  

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Thanks, Mitch 

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